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UTEP look to create depth at running back this Fall Camp

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- UTEP return a lot of starters in key positions but they need to create depth in several spots, one of those being at running back.

The No. 1 guy this year is El Paso native Deion Hankins who started in all 12 games last season, rushing for over 700 yards and two touchdowns.

But his counterpart last season in Ronald Awatt graduated so the Miners are looking to fill his void and have multiple players they can lean on in that position.

"We can't just have one running back we've got to have 3-4 running backs playing in games," Head Coach Dana Dimel said.

Dimel told ABC-7 he is looking at returner Torrance Burges who saw playing time in two games last year as well as new recruits in D1 transfer and El Paso native Aaron Dumas and JUCO transfer Mike Franklin.

"I feel like I bring everything to the table, anything the team needs me to do, I can do it and I'm just trying to be a leader for the young guys too," Franklin said.

"He's been coming along really well and he's a big piece of it," Dimel said. "Right now Mike has had a great spring and is really physical."

Franklin played two seasons at Contra Costa College where he rushed for 1,512 yards and 12 touchdowns across both years.

Meanwhile Dumas in his freshman year rushed for 658 yards and two touchdowns with New Mexico. He then transferred to Washington where he didn't see any playing time.

Dumas will need an NCAA waiver to be eligible to play this season as this is his third school.

"They all have their own styles, they all have something that sticks out to me," Hankins said. "Right now they're all doing good and learning the playbook well so that's a big thing. It's hard to say because it's only the third day of camp but I believe they are all going to come out great."

UTEP begin their season in 27 days on Aug. 26th at Jacksonville State.

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Rachel Phillips


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